Games Now! Sabine Harrer "Playing with Grief: What Participatory Game Design Can Do for Mourners"

Games Now! is an open lecture series on the dominant topics and emerging trends in games.

Playing with Grief: What Participatory Game Design Can Do for Mourners

Sabine Harrer
Maker & Researcher (Copenhagen Game Collective/University of Tampere)

Is it possible to mourn in a playful way? “Playing with grief” unpacks this question by looking at the possible connections between grief and game design. Can making games be a way of addressing unspeakable feelings around loss? Are games capable of featuring dynamics of love, loss, and commemoration in meaningful ways? And what tools have game designers available to work with others who mourn? This interactive lecture is based on the research I have carried out as a game designer working with grieving mothers on the subject of pregnancy loss. Based on this example, it introduces methods and outcomes of grief-based design, relevant to both game designers, players, and health care professionals.

Sabine Harrer is a cultural games researcher and media artist from Vienna, Austria. She is currently affiliated at the Center of Excellence in Games Culture Studies, Tampere (FI), and member of the Copenhagen Game Collective (DK). Their work use (video)games as media to express ordinary feelings with. Sabine has worked on games about love and grief, flirtation, group identity, being white, and even the vague memories of being a lapsed catholic.

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